Many Jr high and high school students and their families who attend public schools are acquainted with the Gear Up college preparation and scholarship program for those that fall under the so called low income bracket. That said, there are likely those who for a variety of reasons such as homeschoolers for example who have never heard of its benefits.My son and I(Michelle) were homeschooling when we decided to use some of the public school services;that is when the junior high school counselor informed us about Gear Up.
Here is the US Dept Of Education Gear Up national guidelines link:http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html
Individual states do have their own links and individual policies. For example here is the Maine Gear Up page:http://www.gearupme.org/
It is important to note that some colleges may not be familiar with the program. (A big reason for this is that many people are under the false impression that select schools are more expensive for low income families than select schools so unfortunately academically qualified students they simply do not apply The fact is select schools often have a much larger endowment than public universities. We learned about this fallacy from a Gear Up applying for college presentation)My son for example was admitted to a select college in ME as well as The University of Orono. Well, Orono was very familiar with the program but the private college was not at all. They did do the necessary research and the funds went through.